Data released in the 2012 High School Dropouts in America Survey from Everest College, shows 23% of students surveyed cite an absence of parental involvement as their reason to quit school. Another 21% dropped out because they became parents.
Superintendent of Rapid City Area Schools Dr. Tim Mitchell says the district has a number of programs in place to help students see the benefit of attending school, even after they drop out.
"It's all about putting together a whole menu of options so that a student will not disappear from the education process," said Mitchell.
Statistics show 7,000 students nationwide drop out of high school every day. Nicole Swigart, the district dropout and delinquency administrator says while an absent parent or a pregnancy may add to the dropout rate, she says she doesn't notice any particular trend in South Dakota.
"I don't know if there's one specific because every student that chooses to drop out has a unique reason," Swigart said.
Whatever the reason may be, school leaders say their main assignment is to ensure students walk across the stage with diplomas in hand. Dr. Mitchell says the high school graduation rate for Stevens High School was 85% this Fall and 71% for Central High School.